THE BEVERLY HILLBILLIES did turn into television's number one show faster than any sitcom in history.
A supreme television classic, this CBS-TV folklore favorite ran for nine years and still holds the record for TV's highest-rated half hour.
August 22, 2013
Bibliographic Backround Information on The Beverly Hillbillies
"The Beverly Hillbillies" first aired on Wednesday, September 26, 1962 and had a nine-year run until its final episode on March 23, 1971. During that time, creator Paul Henning’s sitcom aired an astonishing 274 episodes on the CBS Network, who oversaw original distribution and much of the show’s later syndication. The folksy sitcom was produced by Filmways Television and was so successful that CBS had Henning create to other similar sitcoms, "Petticoat Junction" and "Green Acres" not long after. The comedic show was shot in a single camera style on film (for syndication purposes) and found tremendous popularity among the American public, ranking 1st in the Nielsen ratings for its first two seasons and only finishing outside of the top 20 once during its last season in the 1970-71 campaign. Although somewhat of a predecessor to "The Beverly Hillbillies", in their mutual promotion of rural values over urban life, "The Andy Griffith Show" remained one of the sitcom’s leading competitors along with "The Dick Van Dyke Show."
"The Beverly Hillbillies" centers on the Clampett family who, after having struck oil on their Ozark farm and becoming extremely wealthy overnight, are convinced by a media-influenced Cousin Pearl to move to “Californie” because that’s where millionaires are supposed to live. The main protagonists in the story include the widowed patriarch, Jed, whose backwoods mentality in the face of big city modernity makes him somewhat of a wise-rube style character, often speaking honestly and with unintended wisdom. Additionally, likely to bring in a larger male-viewership, Jed’s extremely attractive, tomboy daughter, Ellie May, makes many appearances in alluring dress, but her naivety regarding her sexuality more or less makes her into a nonthreatening sex object of a character. Jethro, Jed’s cousin’s son, is not the sharpest tool in the toolbox, and yet he is constantly trying to find a way to fit into the LA scene and find a woman despite consistent failure at both. Granny provides the sharpest link back to the simplicity of life in the hills, always complaining about wanting to return and thus dispensing cultural reactionary insight. The most blatant example of “progression” and urban superficiality come in the forms of the Clampett’s pretentious neighbors, the Drysdales. Milburn Drysdale immediately seizes upon the opportunity to become Jed’s banker in order to take advantage of his trusting, simple nature at any chance he gets, yet at the same time constantly going above and beyond to fulfill even the most bizarre of the family’s requests in order to maintain their business (read: money).
This 1960’s classic is somewhat of a synthetic sitcom as it blends a few genre elements together into one coherent piece. First, the aforementioned elements of the rural sitcom are clearly relevant in the show’s reliance upon traditional values, the same values of the frontiersmen in the previous decades’ western genre shows, regarding independence, persistence and moral sensibility. Additionally, like many sitcoms of this period, "The Beverly Hillbillies" included fantastical, or surreal, components to the narrative, most notably the presence of a backwoods, hick family amidst the pristinely tidy urban utopia of one of the wealthiest cities in the country, Beverly Hills, CA. More than all however, the sitcom was a satirical comedy, with basically each episode involving some sort of conflict between country folk and city people, where modern city life became painted as less of a societal progression and more as a money-grubbing, cold-natured environment of isolation. Despite the wacky antics of the Clampett family, the satire sometimes prompts the audience to question whether they should be laughing at the silliness of the country folk or the phoniness city slickers. "The Beverly Hillbillies", while also on the mission to save cultural values from a simpler time amidst the ever-revolutionizing American society, also do something extremely rare for sitcoms in promoting an anti-consumerist culture. On an almost weekly basis, the show challenged consumerism (despite its blatant hypocrisy as it was being funded by advertisers) with the idea that we, as a society, have increasingly more than we need and should be living a more unassuming life, like the Clampett family.
April 11, 2008
You'll either love it or hate it.
Famous CBS sitcom, Which was panned by the 'Critics' but became a huge hit. It is very corny, But can be quite funny. Hardly one of the better 60's sitcoms, But still quite a entertaining sitcom.
June 17, 2007
I downloaded both in 256 MPEG4 and found faulty sound, the title tune is okay, but as soon as the story starts the sound slows down to slow motion while the video is okay. I tried various players, no go.
I tried the streaming, and the title appeared slow in sound with video okay, but then the story was okay with sound.
I am going to try MPERG1
No rating as I do not have a video to watch, but top marks for the series (if I get a good download.) I am old enough to recall when it first showed on NZ TV.